A Montessori school in Massachusetts chose to celebrate Black History Month by having its young students use black paint on paper plates and then cover their faces.
According to The Daily Beast, the IC Kids Montessori School in Newton even posted photos of blackface activity to Facebook, along with photos of the kids laying on the ground to recreate how enslaved Africans were forced onto ships during the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.
“To all who were offended, we sincerely apologize for what happened with one of our classroom activities: black face,” the school wrote in a statement online.
“Our intention was to celebrate Black History Month. Unfortunately, we didn’t do enough research on black history and carried out a wrong activity. We are sorry about it and we mean it!” the statement reads.
One social media user called the school out for the statement, saying that it was not a proper apology.
“THIS is not an apology: ‘to all who are offended’ is not having accountability for the schools actions,’ the person wrote underneath the statement.
A parent at the school, Nadirah Pierce told MassLive.com that when she picked up her children from school, they were covered in black paint, but didn’t think anything of it until she saw the photos circulating online. Pierce said she called the school about it, but they didn’t seem too concerned about the issue.
“To me, it didn’t seem it was bothersome for her,” Pierce told the outlet. “The pictures were not removed.”
Regarding the photos of the children lined up on the ground, Pierce said, “I’m really upset.” She’s already pulled her children from the school for other problems. “This was the icing on the cake.”
Pierce’s cousin, Shateah Barnes, posted the photos to Facebook where it’s received more than 1k comments.
“This can’t go unnoticed,” Barnes told Pierce. “This needs to end.”